NASA will be holding a special press conference after a major breakthrough was discovered by one of their planet-hunting telescopes.
NASA’s Kepler space telescope was built to discover other planets similar to Earth which could potentially sustain life, and now it has made a discovery so significant it looks like they’ve got something exciting to share.
While information regarding the nature of this press conference is scarce, we can speculate what will be announced this coming Thursday when the space agency finally reveal to the general public what they’ve been up to.
Almost certainly it will relate to the discovery made by the Kepler and more than likely it will concern the discovery of ‘exoplanets’. These are Earth-sized worlds which orbit their own stars, they could also be our best chance at discovering extraterrestrial life on other planets.
According to The Independent, NASA state the discovery was made possible thanks to the assistance of Google’s artificial intelligence programs. With machines provided by the global tech giant, they hope to discover more planets quickly and much more efficiently.
The Kepler telescope was launched in 2009 – at the time scientists were unsure how many exoplanets existed. Since becoming an integral part of the process of discovering other planets similar to Earth, it has shown they share many things in common ‘indicating that each star might have its own planet’.
It completed its main mission back in 2012, however the Kepler telescope is still collecting data. In 2014 it began a new mission, dubbed ‘K2’, to search for more exoplanets and analyse other cosmic mysteries.
Due to the sheer amount of data being transmitted through the telescope scientists on the ground are having trouble keeping up, which is why they’ve introduced Google’s AI program to help with the task at hand.
Kepler’s mission has already led to several major discoveries, like finding other planets in the universe which could support human life, which is what’s expected to be announced at Thursday’s press conference.
In February NASA held a major press conference where they claimed to have discovered the ‘holy grail’ of all solar systems. They believed they discovered a solar system filled with planets similar to our own.
Additionally, they said that three of the seven planets were the ‘holy grail for planet-hunting astronomers’ as they sit within a climate which could, theoretically, allow for alien life to grow.
Speaking to The Independent at the time of the discovery, Astronomer Dr Chris Copperwheat, from Liverpool’s John Moores University, who was part of the international team, claimed:
The discovery of multiple rocky planets with surface temperatures which allow for liquid water make this amazing system an exciting future target in the search for life.
Make sure to check back here on Thursday for an update on NASA’s major press conference.